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Total number of comments: 15 (since 2010-06-15 22:42:15)

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  • Who broke the ceasefire? Obama blames Hamas against the evidence
  • With nearly half a million displaced in Gaza, UNRWA head calls on Israel to take responsibility
  • Massacre in Gaza: At least 60 killed in Shuja'iyeh, over 60,000 in UN shelters
  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach

      Tweet by @gilirei from 45 min ago in Hebrew translates (roughly) as follows:

      "Just now on [Israel's] Channel 10 Tzvika Yehzkaeli has just said 'all in all 50 {Palestinian} children were killed in this Operation; that's not a lot."


  • Chris Matthews and David Corn defend Israel against 'slander' of apartheid
    • For those who are interested, here is an excellent study on the question of whether Israel is an apartheid state, a colonial state, or an occupation.

      Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law Virginia Tilley, Ed. Link: link to

      EI review of the book here: link to


      Regarding apartheid, the team found that Israel’s laws and policies in the OPT fit the definition of apartheid in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Israeli law conveys privileges to Jewish settlers and disadvantages Palestinians in the same territory on the basis of their respective identities, which function in this case as racialized identities in the sense provided by international law. Israel’s practices are corollary to five of the six “inhuman acts” listed by the Convention. A policy of apartheid is especially indicated by Israel’s demarcation of geographic “reserves” in the West Bank, to which Palestinian residence is confined and which Palestinians cannot leave without a permit. The system is very similar to the policy of “Grand Apartheid” in Apartheid South Africa, in which black South Africans were confined to black Homelands delineated by the South African government, while white South Africans enjoyed freedom of movement and full civil rights in the rest of the country.

      Quoting from the Executive Summary of the report, project leader Dr. Virginia Tilley explained that the three pillars of apartheid in South Africa are all practiced by Israel in the OPT. In South Africa, the first pillar was to demarcate the population of South Africa into racial groups, and to accord superior rights, privileges and services to the white racial group. The second pillar was to segregate the population into different geographic areas, which were allocated by law to different racial groups, and restrict passage by members of any group into the area allocated to other groups. And the third pillar was “a matrix of draconian ‘security’ laws and policies that were employed to suppress any opposition to the regime and to reinforce the system of racial domination, by providing for administrative detention, torture, censorship, banning, and assassination.”

      The Report finds that Israeli practices in the OPT exhibit the same three “pillars” of apartheid:

      The first pillar “derives from Israeli laws and policies that establish Jewish identity for purposes of law and afford a preferential legal status and material benefits to Jews over non-Jews.”

      The second pillar is reflected in “Israel’s ‘grand’ policy to fragment the OPT [and] ensure that Palestinians remain confined to the reserves designated for them while Israeli Jews are prohibited from entering those reserves but enjoy freedom of movement throughout the rest of the Palestinian territory. This policy is evidenced by Israel’s extensive appropriation of Palestinian land, which continues to shrink the territorial space available to Palestinians; the hermetic closure and isolation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the OPT; the deliberate severing of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank; and the appropriation and construction policies serving to carve up the West Bank into an intricate and well-serviced network of connected settlements for Jewish-Israelis and an archipelago of besieged and non-contiguous enclaves for Palestinians.”

      The third pillar is “Israel’s invocation of ‘security’ to validate sweeping restrictions on Palestinian freedom of opinion, expression, assembly, association and movement [to] mask a true underlying intent to suppress dissent to its system of domination and thereby maintain control over Palestinians as a group.”

      The research team included scholars and international lawyers based at the HSRC, the School for Oriental and African Studies (London), the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (Durban), the Adalah/Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and al-Haq/West Bank Affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists. Consultation on the study’s theory and method was provided by eminent jurists from South Africa, Israel and Europe.

      The HSRC serves as the national social science council for South Africa. The Middle East Project of the HSRC is an independent two-year project to conduct analysis of Middle East politics relevant to South African foreign policy, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of South Africa. The analysis in this report is entirely independent of the views or foreign policy of the Government of South Africa and does not represent an official position of the HSRC. It is intended purely as a scholarly resource for the South African government and civil society and the concerned international community.

  • To Teta, the Queen of Oranges
    • Nadya, thank you for this haunting and evocative piece. It is seared in my memory.

      Walid, who wrote that essay on the Jaffa orange? I couldn't find an author.

      Both of you and everyone: There is an excellent film on the theft of the Jaffa orange and its symbolism by Eyal Sevan: Jaffa, the Orange's Clockwork. You can read about it and see the trailer here: link to It is excellent, with lots of archival footage. You might be able to view or download it here: link to

  • When the going gets tough, Roger Cohen gets going
    • Cohen's analysis completely ignores the deeply corrosive effect that the untramelled power to humiliate and abuse other human beings has on the oppressors' society. Israeli society is paying a very heavy price for this abhorrent situation that will one day come to be appreciated. Abusing others can cause lasting trauma to both parties. It is despicable and unconscionable that he should take the stance that the situation in Palestine is sustainable and bearable, even just from the POV of Israeli society (if that is all that apparently matters to him).

      The cost of Israeli apartheid to humanity and future generations of humanity in that part of the world is incalculable ON BOTH SIDES, not only the Palestinian one (where it obviously goes without saying).

  • U. Mich student government move to table divestment resolution sparks uproar
  • Gaining the 'valuable hatred of their enemies,' boycott movement is educating others
    • Thinking of this as "compelling Israel to withdraw from the West Bank" misses the point and the historic moment entirely. BDS is forcing Israel to look in the mirror and face the fact that its chosen system of government is so oppressive as to constitute sociocide at a minimum, and also genocide within its legal definition. It is this SYSTEM, or perhaps just this ideology, across ALL OF PALESTINE and outside it that privileges one people over another, thereby enslaving them both in a kind of codependent horror show, that must be brought to an end.

      BDS is a movement FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS, not for withdrawal from a specific territory. And therein lies its greatest strength and Israel's greatest fear. The tired, old, fraying fig leaf of "security" is hanging by a thread. The true underface of colonialism and sociocide are coming more and more into focus by the day.

      This movement is on the side of justice and history will go with it. Kerry's framework will be tossed aside to the dustbin of history as fast as he can present it. It does not provide justice or dismantle a structure of outrageous privilege.

      The irony is that at a certain point, which Israel passed long, long ago, as noted in the historic quotations above, such structures of oppression rob and destroy and devastate even those who wield the power. At what cost in human life, Palestinian and Jewish and other, is it worth to maintain this privilege and this ghettoized exclusivity? What is Israel losing in terms of its potential for growth and vibrancy because of it?

      Israel must transform and Zionism must be finally acknowledged for what it is - an unmitigated disaster that has caused incalculable human loss and trauma across the region -- even and including for those whom it purports to liberate.

  • SodaStream flap educates Americans about the illegal settlement project

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